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New Type of Prostate Cancer Pill Extends Lives

Men Given MDV3100 Live an Average of Nearly 5 Months Longer
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Drug Well-Tolerated continued...

The men who took MDV3100 also showed improvements in disease-related symptoms and prostate cancer progression on imaging tests compared with men who received the placebo.

Importantly, MDV3100 was well-tolerated, Scher says. In fact, men taking placebo were slightly more likely to experience serious side effects. The most common side events occurring more frequently in the MDV3100 group were mild fatigue, diarrhea, and hot flushes.

"This is an outstanding drug," says Bruce Roth, MD, a prostate cancer specialist at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis and a spokesperson for the American Society of Clinical Oncology. He was not involved with the work.

What is really exciting, Roth tells WebMD, is the prospect that the once-a-day treatment might be able to be used earlier in the course of disease, thereby delaying the time until men need chemotherapy. That is being tested in a large study now.

Also at the news briefing, researchers reported that an experimental radiation-emitting agent that targets bone both extended survival and delayed cancer-related bone problems in men with late-stage spreading prostate cancer.

The intravenous drug, known as Alpharadin, is undergoing FDA review. Roth says that since MDV3100 and Alpharadin work in different ways, they might work well in combination. No price has been set for either drug.

These findings were presented at a medical conference. They should be considered preliminary as they have not yet undergone the "peer review" process, in which outside experts scrutinize the data prior to publication in a medical journal.

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